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Author Topic: A Tilean Campaign  (Read 82366 times)

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #690 on: January 28, 2023, 05:11:54 PM »
Thanks StygianBeach.

Tilea's Troubles Part 53, is now available. The Holy Army of Morr, commanded by the arch-lector of Remas and his general d'Alessio, take on the vampire Duchess Maria's army. Will Father Biagino survive?

Loads of old figures in and amongst 40 years' range of figures.

See https://youtu.be/qBplW2Gy7VM

Some pics ...

My Tilean Campaign can be found at https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #691 on: January 28, 2023, 05:16:49 PM »
That is very impressive! This whole campaign, the pics and the write ups really are inspiring.

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #692 on: February 01, 2023, 02:02:46 PM »
Thanks muchly, Pattus Magnus.  :)

... And now back to the present day end of my campaign.

But Does It Augur Well?
The Island of Sartosa, Autumn 2404

Five captains and first-mates, of different crews, being the quorum required by the grand articles for the swearing of a new captain into the fleet, had gathered near the pledging ring, where Kroll awaited them.

The admiral, Leopold Volker, was present, of course, as well as Captain Anssem van Baas, and three first mates, being the dwarf Bald Kuzmoul of Captain Leadforge’s crew, the goblin Coboc Draald of Bagnam Farque’s crew and Geordt (more commonly known as Jambalo), the one-legged representative of Captain Garique.

Kroll towered over them, as would any ogre, although he was tall even among his own kind.

His blade alone was the length of a boarding pike, and his piece, held like a pistol in the other hand, was akin in size to a swivel gun, and not one of the smaller ones. He wore an iron belly plate as did so many ogres, which might be supposed a hazard for a seafarer, considering how much quicker he would sink should he ever enter the water, but then his general bulk, heavy woollen coat and huge leather boots would not prove conducive to floating anyway.

Coboc emitted a strange, guttural, squeaking sound, as if his breathing had become suddenly laboured. Most took it to mean he was afraid, what with him being a goblin. Only Bald Kuzmoul was shorter than he, and in truth, the taller men next to him were nearly as nervous, just much better at concealing the fact. All except the admiral, who had seen such terrors in his days that a brute ogre was simply another encounter along the way. So it was, he was merely studying Kroll, as if to judge him, to weigh his worth, to decide what use he might be. And well the admiral might, as Kroll was here to be admitted to the fleet, and to receive a seat at the Captains’ Council table. (Despite the fact there was no seat large enough to accommodate him, nor even quarters high enough to admit him, apart from those upon his own ship, but that was a concern for later!)

He was the only ogre among his crew, the rest being men and orcs, some of the latter weighing twice as much as the men, but not taller. There were rumours that he once had ratmen in his crew, but they seemed to be none now, which allowed those who doubted such could be the case to be more convinced it never was!

The crew were mostly armed with axes, either two-handed or boarding axes, being famously skilled in their use, either in a fight or to expertly and quickly hack their way through bulkheads. One might wonder why they were needed when their captain Kroll could surely slice (perhaps even punch?) his way through even the hardest old oak, but he could hardly be everywhere at once could he? Besides, as he himself had declared - having adopted what he believed were the ways of a gentleman captain - such manual labour would disparage the height of an ogre in him. Why stoop to the level of a rude, mechanical, seaman when he had servants to do such work? Fighting was of course a suitable pursuit for a noble captain, but carpentry was not.

Kroll’s standard bore a death’s head above an hourglass, not because he and his crew were Morrites in faith (being instead worshippers of Stromfells or Ranald, according to their current needs) but because the image was intended as a statement of intent: “If you argue with us your time will run out.”

The crew were grizzled veterans in the main, as were so many in the fleet, having served various realms, whether on fighting ships or merchant vessels, until greed, misfortune, desperation, or devilry drove them to become pirates. Some had the dead-eyed stare of men who had long since abandoned any hope or compassion for others …

… while some bore the determined expression of men driven by a powerful desire for wealth, with not a care for what mayhem they caused in its pursuit.

The orcs, however, were simply happy to eat when they wanted, fight when they could, and make cruel sport out of their enemies’ misfortunes. None, however, misbehaved in Kroll’s presence, for he was a hard taskmaster, and all knew that he would slice a crewmember in half at the drop of a hat if they displeased him, acting as judge and jury in such matters. But that was rare, for they went out of their way to keep him happy, and so it was they had had a fruitful career upon the seas so far, despite the malicious rumours of dealings with the ratmen.

Until, that is, recently, when more and more ships, even merchants, were carrying guns, and ever larger contingents of professional fighters as well as sailors. The threat of the Sartosan Fleet had caused this sudden increase in armament, making piracy by individual ships that bit harder. This is why Kroll had decided to join the fleet itself, as it was a force large enough to plunder entire cities. He desired a share in such rich prizes, and knew there were several great cities yet to be looted.

Admiral Volker, as was his right, spoke first.

“This oath you are to take, Captain Kroll, is no petty thing. You are about to stand in the pledging ring, also named the auger circle, and not just because of the giant augurs it is fashioned from, but because any lie told within it augers ill, very ill, for he who speaks it.”

Kroll grinned, revealing several teeth fashioned of gold. It was a sight somehow more disturbing than his usual scowl.

“That I need not fear, but I do expect that by holding to my oath it will auger well for me.”

“I shall do my best to ensure that,” answered the admiral. “For when my captain’s thrive, I thrive. We all thrive. You know how well our enterprises have gone? They were just the start. This is a time for pirates.”

“Then let’s waste no more time on swearing and get to sailing,” said Kroll.

The admiral nodded his agreement, then spoke to Geordt ‘Jambalo’,

“You know the words of the oath, Geordt. You shall speak them. And you, Kroll, must affirm all the clauses. Now, take your place in the ring.”

Kroll strode into the ring, stepping over a broken augur shell, then turned to look back at the gathered officers as they shuffled over to face him better.

Geordt began immediately …

“Do you swear to obey the admiral in battle?”

“Aye,” growled Kroll.

“And to be faithful to your fleet companions in all designs?”

“I will,” answered the ogre. “So they’d better be good designs.”

“And to strive to accomplish all ventures agreed to by vote of the fleet’s captains?”

“No point in starting what you don’t intend to finish. I’ll see everything through to the end.”

“Do you promise always to attend at the agreed rendezvous, responding whenever called upon?”

“If the wind and weather can be overcome, I’ll be there.”

“Will you die fighting rather than flee from an equal number of opposers, unless ordered to do so by the admiral?”

“I have never fled any opposer, and damn them who claim I might have done. But aye, if the admiral thinks there’s nothing to be gained from a fight, then I’ll follow his orders accordingly.”

“Will you swear never to desert your fleet companions, or leave them wounded in an enemy’s hands, if the admiral demands them back?”

“The dead can rot on the sea bottom, but aye, if the admiral wants a fellow rescued, then I’ll do what I can, for all the usual compensations.”

“Will you help your fleet companions if captured, imprisoned, sick or otherwise in need?”

“I will do as much as any pirate on this fleet, but I don’t profess any knowledge of physic.”

Geordt glanced at the admiral, who said,

“That’ll do. He is joining as a ship’s captain, not a ship’s surgeon.”

Geordt nodded, then continued,

“Now repeat after me: ‘And this oath, when I break in the least tittle’ …”

“And this oath, when I break in the least tittle …”

“… ‘may Manaan and Stromfell’s curse befall me’ …”

“may Manaan and Stromfell’s curse befall me …”

“… ‘and may the greatest scurvies, plagues and damnation seize me here and hereafter’.”

“And all those things, and worse if you like, for I shall never break my oath. Are we done?”

“We’re done, captain,” said the admiral. “Welcome to the fleet.” He turned to the crew and asked,

“What say you?”

In answer came a confusion of ‘Ayes’ and ‘Huzzah’s’, but not a complaint amongst them.

Admiral Volker’s fleet and army had just grown that bit stronger.

Offline WuZhuiQiu

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #693 on: February 03, 2023, 02:06:13 PM »

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #694 on: February 03, 2023, 02:07:43 PM »
Maybe I should've given them all Devon/Cornwall accents?  ;D 'Tis fantasy after all. Hmm. Too late now.  :D

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #695 on: February 04, 2023, 02:34:25 PM »
The sequel to the Battle for Ebino, being part 54 of Tilea's Troubles, is now up!

See https://youtu.be/-Nn-OXisR7M

If you watch you may be surprised to learn the actual fate of a certain character.

Offline WuZhuiQiu

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #696 on: February 04, 2023, 03:40:25 PM »
Alright! This is going to interrupt my viewing of the ADLG Tibetan battle reports, which'll have to be postponed.

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #697 on: February 09, 2023, 02:28:31 PM »
And now, like a yoyo, back to the present day ...

Admissions and Admonishments Abound

Verezzo, in the Great Hall of the Palazzo Davandati. Autumn 2404

Barone Iacopo was feeling confident about the meeting with Lord Silvano Gondi of Pavona, especially as he had recently obtained firm promises of defensive military support from Verezzo’s old ally, Ridraffa. He believed the joint forces that could thus be fielded against Pavona now matched the enemy’s strength, perhaps even exceeding it. The Mayor of Ridraffa had long been (effectively) a nominee of Verezzo. Lord Lucca himself had ensured the current mayor’s position. This made the two states natural allies, and their shared suspicions of the Pavonans’ aggression now made them keen allies also. Yet Ridraffa had not directly suffered Pavonan abuses as Verezzo had, and so of the two, the Ridraffans were a somewhat less hungry for war.

Still, Iacopo was glad the Mayor was present, so that Lord Silvano would realise he was now contending with two city states. Previously, the barone had done all he could to strengthen Verezzo’s forces, but progress was slow, due to a combination of factors, including the small funds available and the limited numbers of experienced mercenaries to hire after all the recent wars. Verezzo was not the largest of city states and so even raising native militia proved difficult, for want of able youngsters to fill the ranks.

Mayor Rafaelle was accompanied by his wife, Lorena, which was perhaps a little unusual, for this was to be a parley between warring states, not a trade discussion or social meeting. Yet her presence might lend a degree of civility to the process. Barone Iacopo was familiar enough with the young Lord Silvano to know that he was less likely give vent to unrestrained anger before a noble woman, and certainly not commit an act of assassination like a Pavonan soldier had done weeks before. The barone was happy for her to provide inhibiting influence on his own behaviour. He harboured furious hatred towards the duke, but he wanted to remain in control, to play and more subtle game and play it well. Her presence might provide a check against sudden fits of anger.

As well as Captain Muzio Vanni, the old condottiere commander of the pike regiment, now made lieutenant general of Verezzo’s army, the famous ex-brigand, Roberto Cappuccio was also present, for it was he who had most recently been the subject of Pavonan lies. Upon his return to Verezzo, after his sojourn through the realm of Pavona with his band of archers, causing as much trouble as he could (which turned out to be quite a lot), Barone Iacopo had rewarded Cappuccio’s commitment by commissioning him as Verezzo’s Scout-master General. Cappuccio had since begun wearing the livery of Verezzo, although still sported his famous green hat, and he never went anywhere without his trusty bow.

When the infamous Pettirosso came into the hall, the barone was pleased to witness momentary surprise, if not discomfort, upon the young Lord Silvano’s face. To have such a fellow as an officer surely revealed the strength of the barone’s hatred of Pavona, and strongly hinted that he knew the truth concerning the claims of the recent assassination attempt upon Duke Guidobaldo.

The young lord was accompanied by a single guard, armed with a handgun, although he had travelled with a large company of similarly armed soldiers. Perhaps, if he had attempted to bring more guards to the meeting, then objections may have been raised. But no-one thought to complain about a single companion, as such might be considered a necessary servant to accompany a nobleman, with duties beyond acting merely as an armed escort.

“So, your father has finally deigned to send you to me, as I demanded many weeks ago?” said the barone. “I was not happy that he sent a babbling priest to me before, only for one of your own soldiers to slay him.”

“I myself wanted to come,” answered Silvano. “And my father, ill though he is, at last gave me leave to do so. As for the soldier’s actions, I know not what came over him. He clearly had the wrong idea concerning what was expected of him.”

Barone Iacopo fixed his eyes upon the Pavonan lord. “Oh, I think he knew full well what was expected of him, be it nothing more than to make more of a mockery of the supposed apology.”

“I wish, barone, you would not presume such wickedness on my father’s part. Mistakes have been made, but this time the guilt was that of a foolish guard.”

“Are you here, then, to confess your father’s sins and pray publicly for forgiveness? Or are we to play more cruel games and hear yet more excuses and lies?

“Good barone,” said Silvano, “I humbly and honestly wish to forge a peace between our realms, in light of the new and deadly threats facing all of us. We cannot allow our realm’s disagreements to weaken us in such dangerous times.”

Iacopo, and several other of his attendants, laughed.

“And why should I believe you want peace, when your own father murdered our beloved Lord Lucca and plundered this, his realm even at a time when both vampires and ogres threatened all of Tilea? Your father had long sought any excuse to attack Verezzo - a despicable and base yearning he finally yielded to”.

The young lord stiffened, and when he spoke his words were uttered likewise,

“I am not my father.”

Iacopo was quick to respond. “An apple does not fall far from the tree.”

“You know me, barone. We marched together and took the field beside each other in the valley of Norochia, there to face hordes of ghouls and walking corpses. And with arrows, bullets, swords, and great courage, we did prevail. You and I, and those we commanded, proved ourselves that day. You know me.”

“Aye, you were there,” countered the barone. “But not your father. He was too busy robbing our realm. Murdering our master.”

The brigand Pettirosso suddenly interrupted, “I saw him and his knights slay Lord Lucca with mine own eyes.”

“And all heard his lies afterwards,” added Iacopo. “Claiming it was the VMC’s soldiers who had disguised themselves as Portomaggiorans to do the deed.”

“And now,” spat the Pettirosso, “he lies again, telling the world it was myself who attempted to assassinate him. I wish that it were, and that I had succeeded, for then vengeance would have been gained. But it was not I, despite my vow to do so, making his claims yet more lies.”

There was silence, though there was something about the young lord’s demeanour that gave the impression it was not due to him being stuck for words.

Iacopo broke the silence with a direct challenge,

“I ask you, in earnest, is everything your father utters false? Has he ever spoken a word of truth?”

Lord Silvano began silently, slowly, shaking his head, and this time answered with the slightest hint of anger in his voice.

“I am not my father, but I rule now in his stead and will rule in my own right when my father enters Morr’s garden. Pavona’s present and future lie with me. I was never party to my father’s lies, nor present when they were spoken, only later learning of them. Now I look to find those willing to befriend me, not my father.”

The Pettirosso was pointing at the young lord, quite contrary to what was customarily expected when addressing a noble superior, even of another city state.

“So, you admit your father was lying?”

Silvano answered easily, “I do, as did my father to General Valckenburgh, through me, having tasked me with explaining all that was done and why.”

“Lord Silvano,” asked Iacopo, “you would have us believe that we can trust you? How is it that you are made so much better than your father? Or is it simply that you are a good enough liar to make it appear so.”

“Since the war against Prince Girenzo, and the death of my brother,” said Silvano, “I have ever and always striven to do that which was right and proper, and to venture my own life in the defence of greater Tilea, not just Pavona. I have served the greater good, and holy Morr, both demanding and receiving permission to do so from my father. All I ask is that you judge me by my own merits.”

Iacopo put his hands on his hips and looked askance at Silvano.

“You did nothing more than the good Captain Vanni here and myself – serving in the alliance army under Lord Alessio, upon the orders of your lord and master. Why should we presume your good service makes you a more honest man? Even a goblin might obey his brute master’s commands, yet still lie with almost every utterance.”

The mayor of Ridraffa’s wife gave a polite cough, and all turned to look at her.

“By your leave, barone and my lord Silvano?” she asked.

Both nobles nodded.

“Norochia was not the only time the young lord fought against the vampires,” she continued. “He was at the terrible battle of Ebino, leading the charge against the enemy’s massed ranks. There his holiness Calictus died, the army scattered, forcing Lord Silvano to ride away. But had personally led his riders into the fray. Then, having only just recovered from near fatal wounds received when bravely fighting Boulderguts’ brutes in the Battle of Via Diocleta, he marched with you, my lord, in the alliance army to fight the vampires once again. Is all this not adequate proof of Lord Silvano’s earnestness to serve the common good?”

Iacopo had forgotten that the mayor’s wife had Gondi blood, being a cousin of Duke Guidobaldo. It seems she possessed a great interest in her relations’ affairs, or perhaps just Lord Silvano? This would hardly help her understood the duplicitousness they were capable of. And yet … it was hard to argue against her. Lord Silvano was indeed a proven hero of battle after battle. A thought tickled at the edge of his consciousness, concerning how Duke Guidobaldo kept his son busy in the wars, or more accurately why he might have done so, but he lost a hold of it when Mayor Rafaelle spoke.

“My wife speaks the truth, as you do too, Barone. There is good and bad in the Gondi family, as with any family perhaps. But we should surely not allow the faults and frailties of a dying man to prevent our proper defence of the realm?”

Lord Silvano turned to speak to Iacopo, but the barone spoke first,

“Yes, we know. You are not your father.”

« Last Edit: February 09, 2023, 03:58:45 PM by Padrissimus »

Online dwbullock

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #698 on: February 10, 2023, 02:14:39 PM »
I don't comment a lot on these, but wanted to say I enjoy them immensely.  I'm not really sure why, but it reminds me of watching Thomas the Train with my daughter before they went all CGI (with orcs, obviously) - and that makes me smile.

Good job, keep them coming.

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #699 on: February 11, 2023, 08:22:27 PM »
Thanks muchly for saying!

Meanwhile, back to the past ...

Here is Tilea's Troubles Part 55, which concerns several struggles in the Reman Church of Morr - the election of a new arch-lector and a schismatic uprising led by a ranting, radical preacher!

Please be aware, there's a full hellfire and damnation sermon in this one. I can only apologise, but the story required it, and the muse carried me along. 


An image ...

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #700 on: February 26, 2023, 08:26:45 PM »
In this new Tilea's Troubles' video, the brute ogres Mags and Brindill, then the two Compagnia del Sole chancellors Baccio and Ottaviano, discuss their woes, while Antonio Mugello's letter to Lord Lucca unfolds.

See https://youtu.be/f3VU9rdJVXY

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #701 on: March 04, 2023, 01:26:20 PM »
Tilea's Troubles Part 57 is up. The vampire Biagino begins his new work, for the 'other' side!

It's here ...


Offline WuZhuiQiu

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #702 on: March 04, 2023, 11:54:11 PM »
More great stuff! How many times did you practice those prayers before recording, lol?

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #703 on: March 05, 2023, 12:09:44 AM »
It's a lot easier than you think because Latin is pronounced phonetically.  :D

Offline Padrissimus

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Re: A Tilean Campaign
« Reply #704 on: March 12, 2023, 08:14:25 PM »
Tilea's Troubles, Part 58, is now available. Antonio Mugello imparts more of what he has learned in the second part of his letter to Lord Lucca of Verezzo.

See https://youtu.be/n5n9HRJAYAY

Some images from the video ...


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